I can’t say that I make it a point to catch BYU games, so most of my Jimmer Fredette watching has been relegated to highlights. But because of those highlights, which typically feature his scoring outbursts, I didn’t even realize that Fredette is considered a point guard at the NBA level.
Measurables: 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, senior PG from BYU
Key stats: 28.5 points, 4.2 assists, shoots 46 percent and 40 percent from three
Projected: Mid first round
How would he help the Pistons?
Technically a point guard, Fredette’s best asset is obviously his shooting stroke. Because he’ll certainly be playing tougher competition at the NBA level than he has at BYU, the fact that he hits 40 percent of his threes is a good sign. Shooting is a skill that typically translates from college to the NBA. He’ll have to learn to get his shots off quicker, but if he has range at BYU, he’ll have range in the NBA.
For the Pistons, they certainly could use better perimeter shooting. Ben Gordon and Austin Daye are the team’s best natural shooters, but Gordon’s 3-point percentage has fallen off (although this year’s 39 percent is certainly a big improvement from last season’s 32 percent) in two seasons in Detroit and Daye shoots 42 percent, but doesn’t get enough minutes to give the team the constant spacing slashers like Rodney Stuckey need.
But don’t typecast Fredette as simply a shooter. Upon further inspection of his game, he’s really good at creating off the dribble and he’s really good in the pick and roll. Those are two areas where the Pistons have been deficient the past two seasons. Taking Fredette in the lottery should be out of the question, but if he falls to the Pistons in the early part of the second round, that would be great value.
How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?
Because BYU’s offense is so dependent on his production, Fredette has the ball in his hands a lot and turns the ball over a bit. And because he’s the team’s primary scoring option, his assist total is good for a wing, but not partiuclarly outstanding for a point guard. I’m not overly alarmed at those numbers, but any team that drafts him will have to make sure he’ll be able to adjust to being a complimentary player who runs the offense and spots up for threes, as that will most likely be his role at least initially in the NBA. He’ll also have to adjust to setting up teammates, rather than having a teammate dribble the ball up and get him the ball in an iso situation, which is how BYU runs a lot of its offense.
What are others saying?
With all this in mind, one of the biggest factors in determining the type of success Fredette will have in the NBA is the team he ends up on. In a fast-paced offense predicated on getting shots early in the shot-clock and a coach willing to live with defensive lapses, Fredette will be an incredible weapon. Put him in the wrong system, though, with a team that likes to grind it out and a coach who demands perfection on every defensive possession and we could be looking at a disaster.
BYU’s Jimmer Fredette dropped 43 points in a win against No. 4 San Diego State in front of a ton of NBA scouts and execs Wednesday night. The verdict? The guy they’ve been hating on for months is suddenly being mentioned as a lottery pick. We wrote about Fredette two weeks ago, and many NBA scouts were still insisting he was a bubble first-rounder. Now? We’re hearing Stephen Curry comparisons in earnest.
Very tough both mentally and physically. A competitor who will battle tooth and nail and wants the big shots at the end of games.